Predictability of regeneration trajectories

A large body of work has used vegetation surveys 5-15 years following fire to identify the factors that influence natural forest regeneration, finding a strong influence of factors such as seed source proximity, climate, and weather in the years following fire. However, very little work has explored the extent to which this short-term regeneration response explains longer-term regeneration trajectories. Does the status of the vegetation at 10 years following fire tell you everything you need to know to predict the long-term recovery potential of the forest? Or is there potential for the recovery process to get “derailed”, making it less predictable? To address theses questions, we are revisiting post-fire vegetation plots that were previously surveyed 5-10 years prior. We are evaluating how well the longer-term recovery that we observe relates to the regeneration status observed during the initial survey.